Here is the mayor's full comment on why so few sexual harassment complaints are substantiated at the Department of Education as reported by Politico:
“Any sincere reporting, whether it’s about sexual harassment or, you know, cheating on tests or anything, we take very, very seriously,” de Blasio said during an unrelated press conference on Wednesday. “But it is a known fact that unfortunately there’s been a bit of a hyper-complaint dynamic sometimes for the wrong reasons. So I think that has inflated their numbers. We need to address that cultural reality within the DOE."
Who is this guy kidding? He even doubled down on his dumb comment in explaining himself.
“Some are absolutely sincere — many, I’m sure, are absolutely sincere. We take them very seriously, we have to investigate everything. We treat everything with equality when it comes to investigating,” de Blasio said. “But I’m also trying to be honest about something that’s different at DOE than at a lot of other places, and it’s a pretty well-known thing in the education world. Some people inappropriately make complaints for other reasons, not just — I’m not even sure it’s ever about sexual harassment. But it is unfortunately part of the culture.”
This blog has said for years that DOE employees are not taken seriously when they use the Department of Education's internal review procedures, including oftentimes the UFT grievance procedure, for any complaints.
On sexual harassment, the actual numbers show that only seven out of 471 sexual harassment complaints were substantiated over the last four years. That's less than 1.5%. 98.5% of us are inappropriately making complaints "for other reasons" according to the mayor.
There are 135,000 DOE full time workers according to Politico. Seven substantiated sexual harassment complaints in four years with over 135,000 employees? In case you are wondering, the average substantiation rate across all city agencies for sexual harassment is 17% according the Politico. Something is very wrong at the DOE. For Mayor de Blasio to claim that they take our complaints "very seriously" is totally not borne out by the numbers.
Meanwhile Sue Edelman from the NY Post continues her excellent reporting exposing the DOE's nonsense. Her latest piece concerns a principal who suspended a teacher's aide because she yawned.
Marie Desforges, the head of PS 328 in Brooklyn, suspended a teacher’s aide for five days without pay last week for “professional misconduct” — yawning.
In a disciplinary letter, Desforges told Edsheda Brown, “You yawned loud enough for me to hear you while I was walking down the hallway” outside a staff meeting.
What’s more, Desforges accused the aide of insubordination over the yawn.
When the principal told the aide the yawn was “inappropriate,” “you stated to me, ‘What, that is how I yawn,’” the letter says.
Teachers said Brown, aghast, asked the principal, “Are you trying to reprimand me for yawning? It’s a bodily function.”
Faculty at the East New York elementary school have felt under siege by Desforges since she took charge last September in her first days as a city principal.Yet another principal from hell in New York City schools.
The scariest part for me is that nobody who works in the schools will be in the least bit surprised by either one of these two articles. These should be shocking stories.
More likely, people will yawn and say, so what else is new? For which they could be reprimanded by another principal from hell.